Enterprise and the State in Korea and Taiwan

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Politics and Government


While huge family-owned conglomerates, the chaebol, have dominated Korean business, smaller guanxiqiye, interlocking family-based firms, have proved equally formidable in Taiwan. In his account of business-state relations, forms of financing, and the organization of trading companies in the two cases, Fields rejects both cultural-reductionist and rational choice explanations for differences between the two countries. He offers instead an innovative institutional approach that focuses on the complex linkages between social networks and political power.

In South Korea and Taiwan, public policy and private enterprise have collaborated to create post-war miracles of economic development. Karl J. Fields examines the institutions most important to the two success stories - powerful business groups and state bureaucracies. Drawing on extensive empirical research, Fields offers a new explanation for the similarities and differences in the organization of big business in two of East Asia's "mini-dragons.".